Disclaimer: As with The Spirits Control Your Love Life, Soul Mates: A Psychic Love Affair by Frank Mares does not necessarily reflect the views or belief system of The Writer’s Scrap Bin, its authors, or its readers. Reincarnation and similar supernatural/spiritual concepts drive the book and traditional religious belief systems are questioned. If you take offense to any of these topics and/or otherwise wish to avoid them, proceed with caution.
I’m going to start off this hectic week with a review of a new, fun, and emotional book by an author I have previously discussed on this blog, Frank Mares. The novel, Soul Mates: A Psychic Love Affair, is the second book in Mares’s 50 Shades of Psychic Love series and the sequel to The Spirits Control Your Love Life.
Mares classifies Soul Mates as “paranormal” instead of “nonfiction” and most of the names have been changed but, overall, it’s a supposedly-true account of Mares’s own experiences with love and the spirit world; he only altered the genre and names for liability reasons and because, admittedly, a lot of the content seems outlandish.
Soul Mates: A Psychic Love Affair fills in some of the holes left by The Spirits Control Your Love Life, including Mares’s (known as Nick in the book) relationship with a woman he truly loves named Megan and their constant cycling in and out of each other’s lives. Even when both have married and started their families, Nick and Megan can’t manage to stay away from each other permanently. Little does Nick realize (until later in the book), the spirits have choreographed this dance for them and they’re about to kick things up a notch.
Mares starts us off with a seemingly-unrelated love affair between a cowboy named William and the female owner of a saloon, Kate, whom William has nicknamed “Willow.” We then return to Nick’s middle-of-the-road single days at the Tiki apartments, which we received a glimpse of in Mares’s first book. In addition to following Nick’s on-again, off-again relationship with Megan, we watch Nick’s second marriage to Karol take form, evolve into a family and business partnership, and, finally, unravel. All the while, Megan lingers in the background, sometimes as a part of Nick’s life and sometimes only in Nick’s mind.
What do the spirits have in store for Nick? What does Megan have to do with it? And how does the concept of “soul mates” play into this tangled web?
Soul Mates is an emotional rollercoaster that shows us that even the accidents and coincidences in our lives are well-planned; the good and the bad are all for our spiritual growth and it’s up to us to make it out the other side stronger. I found myself much more quickly engaged with this book than The Spirits Control Your Love Life, especially since Mares manages to maintain the same quirky and humorous narrative voice that he established in the first book. More importantly, I became very emotionally invested in Nick, Megan, and even the side characters, which made the read much more enjoyable.
As with the first book, Mares addresses the good, the bad, and the ugly of everything, including himself. He’s not shy to call himself (a.k.a. Nick) a pig for being so focused on women’s looks and he admits when he’s done something wrong or, some might say, kind of creepy. His brutal honesty makes me laugh out loud, and it’s one of the reasons his writing style keeps me engaged. Mares’s all-encompassing approach also makes sure that nothing is left out, and so I felt I was getting as complete a story as I could possibly get. There were even some notes from people like Megan and references to books by other psychics, which made me feel as though I was getting a well-rounded view of Nick’s relationships and the spirit/psychic world.
Unfortunately, his unfiltered thoughts did lead to one (incredibly minor) aspect of Soul Mates which bothered me. Nick shows empathy toward Karol in regards to her migraines but, in some passages, the narrative tone makes it sound as though Karol’s migraines are a strain on him and his lifestyle. Mind you, Karol grows to be a real witch and I don’t approve of how she handles their marriage, but I am also a migraineur and I took personal offense to this tone. Of course, I just had my worst migraine attack in months this last Friday, so I might be touchy about the subject. Either way, migraineurs should try and bear with him because the rest is worth reading.
In a way, I feel as though I were experiencing two separate books. The first half reads more like the first book, an exploration into the spirit world and how it affects our everyday lives. The second half sustains this theme—enhances it, in fact, as Nick’s choices are more directly dictated by his spirit guides—but I felt a turn toward a more psychic romance/detective novel atmosphere. The latter half is where I would say the “outlandish” content comes in, but the book continues to be entertaining and compelling nonetheless. I have the compulsion to say that these halves could have been separate books, and yet they are so intricately entwined and inseparable that I cannot think of any logical way to split them.
The earlier chapters include a brief summary of the first book. I was a bit relieved to have had this section. I had read so many books and short stories since I read The Spirits Control Your Love Life that I couldn’t remember many crucial details; Mares’s summary helped to refresh my memory. This summary also makes it possible that a new reader could come into this book without having read the first one, although I highly recommend reading Mares’s first book if you’re interested in the spirit world and reincarnation.
In particular, Mares presents an interesting take on the “soul mates” concept which, in hindsight, seems obvious. A prominent theory is that groups of souls travel through each life together with the relationships changing each time. Mares addresses this theory and explains that soul mates are not the stereotypical, perfect romantic partner. Instead, they are the other members of our soul groups, the group which we deliberately chose to stay with during each life. I personally prefer this definition of “soul mates” and find that Mares explains it very well through his psychic readings with Brenda and his father.
I am captivated by the love/spirit connection which Mares emphasizes in his books. However, he repeatedly touches upon a concept in Soul Mates which captured my attention even better than his love stories: his psychic visions about economic issues in the U.S. I’ve found psychic books about love and relationships to be a dime a dozen; one about a psychic’s personal insights into our economic future, well, that’s a diamond in the ruff. The fact that Mares has a strong background in investment makes me even more interested in his economic views when coupled with his intuition. I want him to continue with 50 Shades of Psychic Love but I still thought it worth pointing out that Mares has a variety of observations to share with the world.
I came across several proofreading errors in my copy. Mostly the errors include missing words, repeated words/phrases, unnecessary hyphens, missing or misused punctuation, and switching between “Brian” and “Bryan” as the spelling of Nick’s son’s name. Overall, these mistakes do not detract from the book. However, they become distracting after a while.
My favorite line from this book reads “while it is fulfilling to do so, writing a book for the most part is a money losing venture.” While this is often the case, I think that Mares has hit the mark with Soul Mates. At 290+ pages, it’s a long read. However, it is also entertaining, heart-wrenching, and spiritually stimulating.
A lot of the content seems out there and, in truth, I’m still trying to sort out how much of it I believe. I label myself a “skeptical believer,” meaning I’m very open to the paranormal but I still take everything with a huge grain of salt, so it takes more than you’d expect to make me fully believe. Nevertheless, I’ve found a kindred spirit in Mares because he validates many of my beliefs in this book. Maybe I believe him, maybe I don’t. All I know is that I agree with Mares on one thing: everything happens for a reason.
Soul Mates: A Psychic Love Affair is available on Amazon as an e-book, on Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback. Mares’s next book will be released in late 2018, although no firm date has been set yet. To learn more about Frank Mares and his 50 Shades of Psychic Love series, be sure to visit his Quora blog.
Know of any books I should read? Want your book reviewed on this blog? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Fiverr for more information.